Brandywine’s Zachary Schmidt (20) watches his penalty kick against Grace Christian Tuesday. The Bobcats defeated Grace Christian 3-1 in its season opener. (Daily Star photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Archived Story

Bobcats headed in right direction

Published 9:40pm Tuesday, August 21, 2012

With senior defender Ryan Kubiak directing traffic, Brandywine navigated its way to a home soccer victory Tuesday afternoon over Watervliet Grace Christian.

Kubiak and his teammates limited Grace Christian to just three shots on goal en route to a 3-1 victory, the first of the season in three outings for the youth-laden Bobcats.

Brandywine got first-half goals 20 seconds apart from senior Alex Ulrickson and sophomore Zachary Schmidt, before the Bobcats’ defense held Grace Christian without a shot on goal over the final 40 minutes.

Brandywine coach Evan Winkler was quick to credit Kubiak, one of just three seniors on this season’s roster.

“He’s our anchor; our heart and soul and he does everything back there,” Winkler said about the four-year varsity standout. “He played an excellent game, he controlled things back there and kept talking to the defense, making sure they were in the right position.”

Brandywine’s Alex Ulrickson heads a ball up field against Grace Christian Tuesday. The Bobcats defeated Grace Christian 3-1 in its season opener. (Daily Star photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Kubiak understands the importance of his role this season as one of the Bobcats’ lone seniors and is embracing the challenges associated with leadership.

“I’m just trying to get the whole team together and get them talking,” Kubiak said. “We need a lot of people talking so we know where the ball’s going.

“I was looking forward to being a senior this year, and I haven’t really been as vocal in past years, but I thought I needed to bring it out this year.”

Following the pair of first-half goals, Brandywine was unable to find the back of the net again until a penalty kick converted by Schmidt made it 3-1 just less than four minutes into the second half.

The Bobcats’ offensive woes were largely due to the effort put forth by the Grace Christian goalkeeper, who was credited with 18 saves on the day.

“The (goal)keeper was amazing for them and he really kept them in the game,” Winkler said. “These are the kind of games that scare you. We had so many chances, but couldn’t get it in because that goalie was good. He even got in our shooters’ heads. They were trying to hit corners and make the perfect shot. He was really tough.”

Brandywine launched 22 shots on goal.

In addition to Kubiak, Winkler offered high praise of the defensive performance by senior Michael Pancoast.

“He really stepped up today and played really well,” Winkler said about Pancoast. “I was happy to see that.”

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